Thematic curriculum of the doctoral programme


Communality and social sustainability

There is no absolute definition for social sustainability. Sustainable communities survive change – be it economic, social, or environmental – in a more balanced and even-handed way than communities that are less sustainable. Social sustainability is based on reasonable use of natural resources, diverse economic activity, diversity of human resources, and strong communality. Research literature takes various standpoints in discussing sustainable communities: different types of material, institutional, and social capital are compared; survival strategies are identified; communal well-being is observed; and, lately, communal resilience has also been assessed.

After successful completion of the course, the student will
1. recognize the essential aspects of social sustainability
2. be able to analyse aspects that are crucial for social sustainability
3. identify central features of communality with regard to well-being in communities
4. know how to analyse new forms of communality.



Private-public relations

This course focuses on relations between the society’s private and public activity. Special emphasis is laid on questions about responsibility and its implementation, private-public demarcation, and formation of partnerships. The Northern context requires that the private-public line be crossed , bringing the varying forms of human agency (multi-, inter-, trans-) under consideration. These questions are observed by combining the viewpoints of the Faculties of Art and Design, Law, Education, and Social Sciences.

Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able
1. to recognize private and public actors, interfaces between different contexts, and potential for co-operation
2. to discern the formation of societal responsibility and related problematic points
3. to understand private-public blending and dynamics of multi-agency
4. to apply his/her knowledge across disciplinary boundaries especially from the viewpoint of specific Northern questions.


Changing work

The course explores challenges in the society, working life, and organizations – and correspondingly new potential – created by societal change and, its consequence, changing work. Changing work is observed through the aspects of administration, law, services, placelessness, leadership, ethicalness, mobility of work force, complexity of change, and the diversity of communities and cultures.

Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able
1. to discern change in the society, both past and present, and the content of changing work, its ways of manifestation and grounds
2. to recognize effects at both macro and micro levels caused by change and changing work especially in the discipline relevant to his/her research
3. to utilise and combine context-related multidisciplinary knowledge
4. to analyse and specify various effects that change has on the society and work
5. to combine the topic especially with challenges and possibilities of Northern communities and individuals.


The course examines the following themes: human agency, civil society, networking and the forms of neo-communality, various fora for participation, participation as a form of control, inclusion, questions pertaining to belonging, knowledge and power. In addition to these, participation is studied as a methodological question, focusing on the ways of participation and inclusion, the opportunities to participate in decision-making and to have an effect on your own status in the working community and other communities.

Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able
1. to discern mechanisms of a civil society and different forms of human agency and participation
2. to recognize different ways of promoting participation
3. to construe changing forms and conditions of volunteer activity and forms of networking and neo-communality
4. to reflect on the manifestation and results of social activity and human agency as well as questions of power through concrete examples.